Most people buy Travel Insurance via a comparison site, shortly before a planned holiday. Comparison sites are great for quick, easy cover. But, have you ever stopped to wonder: ARE you really covered? What exactly do you get for your policy?
As I’ve said before, Comparison sites are also notorious for what they’re NOT telling you. I’m not saying don’t use them, but if you do – here’s what you need to check out in the small print before buying, and a few pointers on how to holiday safely too.
- Pre-existing conditions really matter. It’s vital to get this right. If your insurance will cover them, you’ll have to ring a health screening helpline and declare everything. Even those that aren’t bothering you at the moment. And don’t forget your medication – reveal all the pills you’re taking, even if you don’t think it’s relevant. Once you’re through the screening, keep the reference number as that’s what you’ll need if you claim and the company try to deny you compensation due to non declaration.
- Take advice. If your destination recommends any vaccinations yet you choose not to have them, your insurance may not pay out if you subsequently become ill with those conditions. Similarly, if you travel to countries against Government advice, you are also likely to come unstuck if you need to claim.
- Any issues back home? If you’ve got relatives who are seriously ill and might require you to cut your trip short, you must tell your insurers. That way there’s a chance you’ll be covered for coming home early.
- Don’t party too hard. If you have an accident abroad and are found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your policy may refuse to cover you. Similarly, if you do not take reasonable care of your belongings (leave them lying by the pool etc) your claim may be denied.
- Watch what you get up to. If you desperately want to skydive, horse ride or bungee jump, for instance, make sure you’ve run it past your insurers first or you may not be covered. Skiing is another activity which usually requires specific insurance.
- Is your paperwork in order? Most policies require your passport to be well within date (check how long your insurer requires) and the correct visas for policies to be valid.
- Make sure you report things at the time. If you’ve suffered a theft, or become ill, don’t be a martyr and try to sort it out by yourself. If you’re being looked after by a tour guide, report the situation immediately – if you’re on your own, ring your insurer to let them know. This is often really important for a successful claims as companies can refuse to pay out if they have no record of a report when the incident happened.
If you’re going away this Christmas, have a wonderful, safe and happy holiday. If this blog has given you any concerns at all, feel free to ring me on my Freephone number 0800 690 6990 and I’ll happily run through your policy with you, or help you find one to suit.